Monday, June 20, 2011

Ways to make yourself sick

1) Follow the USDA's (esp the old one) Food Guide

-Tons of grains so we all become bald/blind diabetics w/ high cholesterol and closets full of cloths that are too small for our fat asses.
At least we're moving in a better direction compared to what we had before:

2) Keep believing you'll be able to get all your vitamin and mineral needs from your diet alone.

Sorry, it's not going to happen.

3) Exercise the recommended amount....

Actually, in a way, I have to take this back. The government just changed it to 60-90 minutes/day, however.......
A) I get where they're going w/ that but it's gonna seem a little daunting to the couch potato that thinks walking 3 blocks instead of driving their car is considered exercise which sets them up for failure, they end up quitting and think someone should take care of them for that too but w/e. Opinions are like assholes, and sometimes I'm kind of an asshole....
B) Really quantity of time has no merit compared to quality of time spent exercising.
-For instance: A 90 minute jog every day, is not a quality workout. Actually it sucks, unless you're training for a marathon and doing a long run.
-30 minutes of intense interval training w/ different weighted implements would be though.

4) Don't lift anything heavy

Deadlifting heavy is more than juuuust getting an ass like this:


5) Don't take a quality source of EPA + DHA daily

6) Only take the recommended 600 iu of Vitamin D/day

7) Create a disconnect w/ daily activity and nature by reading blog posts all day instead of getting out and doing something active. Leave your house!

-Go play basketball (yeah you probably suck but who cares)
-Save some gas. Ride your bike to work or where ever you need to go that's 8 miles or less. 7 miles on a bike isn't that far.
-Go for a walk somewhere away from cars, concrete, and people in general.
-Nature has tons of entertainment if you get out and open your eyes.
-Ever try sleeping in when your camping? It doesn't work.

Point of the list is to get off your ass.

-Mowing your lawn isn't exercise and it's not a connection w/ nature. Though it is a form (weak form) of being active if you're not riding the thing.
-Eating grain fed salmon once a week doesn't make you healthy.
-Having a small spinach salad covered in Dorthy Lynch (of which I adored growing up, we all make sacrifices) will not give you an adequate micronutrient content or close to everything you need for the day.
-Just b/c you run a mile daily doesn't make you strong or fit (if that ruffled your feathers too bad, it's the truth) And if you cannot run a mile you need to do some serious work.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Review: Eric Cressey's Max Strength

Lately I've decided to outsource my personal program design. I'm seeing the need to NOT do everything myself now that I've started the gym, bought a house, and still trying to attempt some type of social life....yeah right. But some where along the line I've seemed to run low on the time/energy I'm willing to program for my own workouts.

I read Eric Cressey's book Maximum Strength awhile back and enjoyed it. For the most part I tend to agree w/ Cressey's views on training. They're logical and the research and conclusions I've come to are along similar lines.

However, the book was published in 2008 and publishing and print take awhile. There are a few things I would've totally done in 08 that I wouldn't do today.

So, what did I change about MaxStrength? Basically I just changed it around to fit me better and leave out some stuff that I don't use in my programming anymore.
  • Changed some core stuff (I don't use any lumbar flexion work)
    • No reverse crunches
    • No dragon fly's
  • Added some plyometrics, sprinting and medicine ball work
  • Increased the horizontal pulling volume (rows to be specific, especially unilateral cable rows)
  • Increased psoas work
  • Changed the bilateral jerks to unilateral
  • Along w/ some of the post workout stretching
All in all though, I really think this book would be a great read for someone in their first 5 years of the lifting realm or that have never gotten out and seen what other coaches are doing w/ their programming.

Unfortunately too many people who work at gyms are outstanding at being dumb and don't continue their education past college (which doesn't teach you even close to enough), or they get sold on all the wrong stuff b/c they lack any type of critical thought process. Sad and pathetic. So hopefully they all pick up a book worth reading this year so they can stop wasting their clients time, $, and health.

Maximum Strength would be a great start.

Shoulder Health: Protraction vs Retraction

For some reason shoulder misunderstandings tend to annoy me. For instance protraction and internal rotation of the shoulder are not the same thing. It's common that one follows the other but definitely not the same thing.

In this picture protraction would be the arrow pointing fwd/up. Retraction would be the arrow point away from the back.

The shoulder can protract w/o internally rotating, and just b/c a shoulder sits in extreme internal rotation does not mean that it is sitting in protraction. As far as that goes not all internal rotation or protraction is a bad thing. If it were we wouldn't press anything. Try telling that to Mr. Mon Wed Fri Bench Press guy.

You need a certain amount of each and it's the balance between retraction and protraction, same as internal and external rotation of the shoulder, that creates health and performance. Messing w/ this too much can actually mess w/ arm movement in overhead athletes that could be detrimental to their performance. Flying blind is dumb, and that's where assessments, attentiveness, and simply knowing what's going on w/ an athlete's day to day comes into play.

Exercises that protract the shoulder also direct/indirectly internally rotate the shoulder. Not all exercises that work on retraction will externally rotate the shoulder. That's why direct external rotation work should be programmed in for just about everyone and their mothers. Besides the fact that our bodies already gravitate towards protraction and internal rotation.

Mike Reinold's Shoulder W exercise is a great exercise for most athletes. "The exercise combines shoulder external rotation with scapular retraction and posterior tilt, definitely a great combo and advantageous for many people as it recruits the posterior rotator cuff (infraspinatus and teres minor) and the lower trapezius." -Mike Reinold

We need to be strong and healthy up front, that's not the problem in most athletes, but we're setting ourselves up for lots of problems if we don't take care of the opposing side.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

USDA Retires Food Guide Pyramid....!!!

Big news:
The USDA finally retires the food pyramid. This is a very good thing, though I don't agree whole heartedly w/ the new propaganda at least it's a step in the correct direction.
As governed people we think of the government to be and have the most advanced and well rounded technology, programs and information, but this is not the case most of time. The real advancements happen in the private sector where creativity and in the trenches thinking can take place w/o being staved by studies and procedure. Sadly the last place of change is where it should be the first.

Though I do think the government has had a little bit more to think about than nutrition, for example a war and a supposed recession. But this blog is not about politics, of which I know nothing, but about being an informed and free thinking person. So if I've offended anyone, I'm sorry, get over it.

The Gov's new deal is the "Plate". Saying to keep portions small, and that protein, grains, vegetables, and fruits should make up equal parts of each meal, and then a small portion of dairy on the side.

Which is great compared to what it used to when it was eat tons of grains, protein as you want, and fruits and vegetables big deal. So as idiotic as the "pyramid" was the "Plate" almost seems genius.

All in all I'd really like to give the government a nice backhanded compliment for this one. Emphasis on the backhand. But really, eating protein every meal, more emphasis on fruits and vegetables, decreasing grains and dairy, well done USDA.

At least we're moving the right direction. Maybe 50 years from now when 80% of the population is diabetic, bald, blind and on a dozen different medications that the government finances we'll see a shrink in the grains, an increase in the vegetables and fruits, and change the milk to greek yogurt.

By then Suzanne Sommers will have taken over everything and we'll all live forever and no one will remember what a baby looks like.....

There's some crazy shit out there, and I don't mean crazy in a don't think some of it could be theoretically possible. I guess we'll see.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Nutrition: Fridge vs Cupboards

It's easy to list what's in your fridge. If you have the basics of a healthy diet then your fridge probably has a variety of plant based products, multiple lean protein sources and a few natural/organic condiments.

These could include, but not limited to:

Pickles (I prefer clausen's)
Sauerkraut (same)
Greek Yogurt (Fage, Chiobani, Oikos are good. I wouldn't eat the Greek Gods brand)



Grass fed Beef
Free Range Poultry
Free Range Eggs

Almond Milk (unsweetened)
Coconut Milk (unsweetened)
(for me this comes from a patch at my parents house, and I'm a very lucky guy for this)

Minced Garlic
(You're supposed to cut it as you use it, but if you're like me then you prefer doing it all at once)

For me cholula almost always wins.

Natural organic ketchup
Personally I really like Annie's but making your own can be interesting on occasion as well.

Stone Ground Mustard
I prefer Boetje's Mustard. Theirs is simply the best.

This is actually what happens to be in my fridge right now but I also just went to the store yesterday. There's also some beer, different cheeses and I'm sure rotting food that I don't yet know about.....

The freezer is pretty boring, there's some random frozen meats and vegetables, but I usually keep some Ezekiel bread around too. Oh, and I'm a sucker for corn bread and ice cream (not at the same time). Everyone has their vice, and that's mine, so I have a couple mixes and a half gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream, that I try to make last a very long time.

Where I feel people really go wrong is the crap in their cupboards.

Cupboards are usually where you stack the junk that wont ever go bad which usually means candies, pastries, chips, pastas, etc. These are things that wont help our waistlines, our performance goals, or quality of life.

I'd rather have this....
Than this....
Freeze Dried Food: Food in the Cupboard
You don't think it would've been cool to have a miniature little native american friend when you were that age? I do

The following is a short list of some of the foods that'd be good to keep in your cupboards.

It's actually what I keep stocked in my cupboards on a regular basis.

-Steel Cut Oats (always buy in bulk)
-Quinoa (same)
-Brown rice
I use brown rice sparingly. Mainly just pre/post workout on occasion but that's about it, should probably throw it away, it's getting old

-Chia Seed(that I grind w/ a coffee grinder)
-Flax Seed (grind those too)

-Protein Powder (whey+casein)
I really prefer Carlson's they make a great product for an overly reasonable price.
-Zinc (used as necessary)
-Melatonin (rare and random usage for whenever I want to go comatose for about 12 hours)

My spice rack gets used a ton but I run out of Turmeric and Watkin's Cinnamon all the time.

-Onion (yep, they're not even supposed to be refrigerated until you cut them)
-Sweet potato (same)
-Real Butter from grass feed cows (no need to refrigerate it either, in fact it'd get so hard you could barely use it)

-Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-Tarragon Vinegar
-Balsamic Vinegar
Interestingly, this is one item where paying more does make a difference, up to you.
-Dark chocolate
For my taste the darker the better but less than 70% cocoa and you're just eating candy.
-Peanut or almond butter:
I've tried alot of these and tend to enjoy Full Circle's the most, and it just so happens to be on the lesser expensive side.

Then I usually keep an assortment of tea's around. Right now it's
There's no rhyme of reason to this, I just think they taste good, except the Earl Greyer, Idk where it came from.

This usually surprises people but I do keep a good stock of canned goods in my cupboards. My mom has been canning food from her garden for longer than I've been around, and you don't go to her house w/o taking something home. It's usually tomatoes, green beans and applesauce. All of which are from soil that hasn't been depleted and the food was harvest when it was ripe, unlike the food you'd get in the store, so it's very good for you and comes in handy during the winter.

On my counter and dinning room table there are bowls of fruit that always have apples and w/e else I feel like having around at the time.

There are also things I don't keep in my kitchen on purpose.
A) I'll be more likely to eat them if they're around
B) They are so rarely used in my cooking that there's no point
C) Nutritionally they aren't the greatest choices in the world, so why give support by purchasing the stuff.

These would include:
-Wheat flour

-Sucralose (or any type of artificial sweetner for that matter)
If I want some sugar I'll have real sugar, we've been doing it for thousands of years. I think once in awhile is okay if you're living an active lifestyle and consuming 95% of your carbohydrates from better, plant based sources.

chocolate bars, twix, snickers, jolley ranchers (of which I don't even like hard candy), m&m's, chex mix. etc.

-Falsely marketed "healthy", "high in protein/fiber" stuff either.
You wont find a Fiber One Bar, Cliff Bar, Zone Bar, or anything else like that in my house. They're just candy too.

-Cold cereal's:
Cheerios, frosted flakes, Lucky Charms, Kix, sorry to burst your bubble these suck too. They're simply candy, and hold little to no nutritional value.

-This goes for the ones marketed to be "heatlhy" as well.
There's absolutely not one Kashi product in my house, nor Total, or anything else like that. They all suck, eat some real food.

And that's that. Really, in the end the basics get you by, most everyone just tries to make it complicated. Eat 5 big cups of vegetables every day and that'll go along way by itself.